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How to Take Care of Your Car Engine: Our Top Tips

How to take care of your car engine – Mechanic working on a car engine

The engine is the heart of your car; it needs to run smoothly to keep the vehicle moving. In the same way we should all drink less, stay active, and eat healthier to look after our ticker, there’s plenty you can do to ensure your engine stays healthy. Discover how to take care of your car engine with these essential tips.

1. Change the Oil

Whether you have a new or used NZ car, changing the oil in your car is the least you can do to keep it healthy. Engine oil keeps all the moving parts well lubricated, reducing wear and tear; it also stops dust, dirt, and other sediments in their track, so they don’t end up in places they aren’t supposed to be.

Give your car a little love by checking the oil levels every month, adding more if running low. Just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the type of oil and how often you should change it.

2. Let Your Car Breathe

If you’ve ever had asthma, you’ll know how awful feeling short of breath is. Your car’s engine needs oxygen just as much as you do, and a dirty filter could prevent this. An essential tip for taking care of your car engine is to check the air filter regularly and have it cleaned or replaced if you notice an excessive build-up of dirt and debris. Ensuring that your engine can breathe properly is essential for the health and longevity of your car.

3. Don’t Run it on E

Do you regularly push the fuel gauge to its limits before topping up? Petrol contains sediments that settle at the bottom of your tank over time. Running your car on low fuel will likely pull this gunk into the fuel pump, which can be catastrophic. Instead of crossing your fingers and praying this sediment never reaches your engine, fuel up often.

4. Keep an Eye on the Cooling System

Despite many advancements in the automotive industry, engines still lose a hefty chunk of energy during combustion. The metals and alloys that make up car engines aren’t fond of heat, which is where most energy loss occurs.

Coolant is your number one defence against an overheated engine as it works to dissipate the heat within your engine. Regularly check coolant levels and top up where necessary. The ideal mixture for coolant is a 1:1 ratio of distilled water.

5. Check the Belts

Rubber belts are essential for keeping everything in rhythm when your engine gets moving. If you hear some funny squeals from under the hood, don’t ignore them! It’s probably a sign that it’s time to replace your belts.

While engine belts have a fairly decent lifespan, roughly 60,000 to 100,000 KMs, you should still routinely check for cracks and signs of wear. A worn belt can be replaced with no sweat, but if it breaks while the engine is running, it can cause serious damage to engine parts.

6. Don’t Rev Your Engines

Revving your engine unnecessarily can be damaging. Engines are designed to run at a constant speed; too much sudden variation in the revs tires it out and takes a hefty toll.

Avoid aggressive acceleration and revving when you know you’ll have to stop again soon. By driving with a steady and measured approach, you can help your engine last longer and stay in better condition.

7. Stop Ignoring Engine Lights

Dashboard warning lights self-diagnose problems with your engine. They are your car’s subtle scream for help, so don’t ignore them! Taking action when engine warning lights appear is a proactive measure to maintain your vehicle’s health, safety, and value. Even if the problem isn’t serious, you should still head to the mechanics to get it checked.

Get the Most out of Your Engine with Portage Cars

If your engine has been rumbling and grumbling lately, it might be time to show it a little love. Now that you know how to take care of your car engine, you can operate your vehicle with full confidence and peace of mind. 
Portage Cars has plenty of affordable NZ station wagons, sedans and everything in between for sale. We can also support you in finding the best car finance. Swing by one of our dealerships and find your dream car today.


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